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Foundry celebrates Big Ben's 150th big bash

PUBLISHED: 20:39 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 05 October 2010

BIG BEN has celebrated its 150th birthday ringing out the chimes on the hour over London. The famous 14 tonne bell in the Houses of Parliament was cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London s East End on April 10, 1858. Staff at the foundry raised a glass to the collosal clapper to celebrate

BIG BEN has celebrated its 150th birthday ringing out the chimes on the hour over London.

The famous 14 tonne bell in the Houses of Parliament was cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London's East End on April 10, 1858.

Staff at the foundry in the Whitechapel-Road raised a class to the colossal clapper last Thursday.

The foundry, Britain's oldest manufacturing firm, charged Parliament £572 to make the bell.

It took 20 minutes to fill the mould with molten metal, and 20 days for the metal to cool.

But it cracked just two months after it was installed at the top of the iconic tower overlooking the Thames at Westminster.

Big Ben rang for the first time May 31, 1859.

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